January 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The twitterverse has been abuzz this week with revelations of how the U.S. State Department has been spending its money in Pakistan. A couple of interesting items to note:
The U.S. funded the Sunni Ittehad Council for holding a rally in 2009.The Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) is a rabidly extremist religious outfit that most recently gained notoriety for offering Rs. 100 million for the gun that Mumtaz Qadri used to assassinate Salman Taseer a year ago. (Taseer was assassinated for his stance on changing Pakistan’s blasphemy law.) In other words, the Sunni Ittehad Council is a nasty piece of work. So what’s the U.S. doing funding such very ugly people? Well, the U.S. has decided that it hates the Taliban more than anybody, and any enemy of the Taliban is a friend, and since the SIC hates the Taliban (for very narrow sectarian reasons), that makes the SIC a friend of secularism and democracy, and thus Uncle Sam’s buddy. Note that the SIC is a Sufi Barelvi outfit, which isn’t supposed to make sense, since the U.S. has also declared that Sufism will save us from terrorism, but these are exactly the kinds of absurdities one ends up with in U.S.-foreign-policy-land.
Another interesting item of note is the nearly $1 million in funds given to film projects by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (who has made the films Terror’s Children, Pakistan’s Taliban Generation, Reinventing the Taliban, Pakistan’s Double Game, and many other terror-themed films among others). There are two projects being funded: one, an animated series for children that will focus on identity and history, and two, a series about “ordinary heroes” in Pakistan (I’m going to guess that at least some of these heroes fight the Taliban in their spare time). Given what we know of her past films, and of course about the U.S. agenda, one can only imagine what kind of nonsense will be concocted for these new projects.
January 11, 2012 § Leave a Comment
January 3, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Glenn Greenwald has a great new post on the remarkably honest turn in the U.S. foreign-policy narrative about the Arab Spring: that it’s dangerous, radical, and counter to U.S. interests in the region. Of course, this sentiment is not new – after all, it is an enduring pillar of U.S. foreign policy – but what is remarkable is the breathtaking honesty of the statements now being made by the U.S. foreign-policy cognoscenti.